Feb 2002 issue
THE IMPORTANCE OF DOING ABSOLUTELY NOTHING
A couple of weeks ago, I had the luxury of the gift of a spa session. I have
never been for any of these - EVER. But lying there with the Zen-like music,
I began to relax and began to appreciate the total peace and relaxation that
people often pay a lot for. The spa business is a booming one.
Normally, I always feel the need to *do* something. But at this session, I
began to appreciate that one has to set aside some time to do absolutely
nothing. Yes, it seems to fly in the face of reason. After all, shouldn't we
be all " maxing out " , working hard, playing hard etc?
Some moments of genius have occurred when we are at total rest i.e doing
nothing. It was the Greek mathematician Archimedes, who had a stroke of
genius when he solved a major and vexatious problem. You may recall he was
having a relaxing bath when the solution came upon him - sending him rushing
out shouting " Eureka! ". Popular legend has Newton discovering the laws of
gravity whilst sitting under an apple tree.
On a much cheaper and somewhat more vigorous note, I find moments of clarity
when I am on long evening jogs. Oxygen and blood is moving at a fair clip,
there is not much to see in the night and it is at times like these that I
can empty my mind of petty matters and focus on objective visualisation. I
see myself being successful at some goal and the steps I need to take to
achieve this. Sometimes it's about how I will handle the next day.
In the office, a quiet 10 minutes alone without muzak, telephone calls and
interruptions - would be terrific. Emerge from this session recharged. Do
encourage your friends and colleagues to value doing absolutely nothing - at
least for 10 minutes a day!